Russia denies plans to destabilize Moldova

Russia denies plans to “destabilize” Moldova

Russia on Tuesday denied any “plan to destabilize Moldova” after Moldovan President Maïa Sandu the day before accused Moscow of preparing “violent attacks” in her country, a pro-Western neighbor of Ukraine.

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The Moldovan leader’s claims are “absolutely unfounded and without evidence,” the Russian Foreign Ministry condemned in a press release.

He also accuses Ukraine of being the source of this “disinformation” to fuel tensions between Moscow and Chisinau.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said last week that his country had intercepted documents showing a plan to destabilize Moldova.

“The plan involves attacks on state buildings and kidnappings by saboteurs with a military background dressed in civilian clothes,” Maïa Sandu told reporters on Monday.

In this context, she announced a legislative proposal aimed at giving prosecutors and secret services “the necessary tools to effectively combat risks to national security”.

In response to this information, the United States reiterated its support for Moldova on Tuesday.

“We are deeply concerned by reports of a Russian conspiracy to destabilize Moldova’s democratically elected government,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

He further insisted Washington was working with the Moldovan authorities to “counter Russia’s long-term efforts to undermine the country’s democratic institutions.”

Moldova, a former Soviet republic of 2.6 million people sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, has taken a pro-Western turn in recent years, angering Moscow.

The country, which has been an EU accession candidate since the summer of 2022, has been in crises since the beginning of the Russian offensive in Ukraine and has been denouncing “Russia’s energy blackmail” for months, which has cut its gas supplies by half.

Chisinau also has to deal with the presence of Russian soldiers and a large stockpile of ammunition in the pro-Russian separatist region of Transnistria.